Video conferencing is still a relatively new workplace tool to many businesses, but when it is deployed successfully it brings with it a myriad of benefits to the workplace. However, we’re finding that usage and adoption varies greatly from organisation to organisation and that despite the best of intentions, some businesses are struggling to capitalise fully from the benefits of video collaboration.
With this in mind, Quocirca, a business and IT advisory company, released a report looking at growing the value of video conferencing by fostering a culture of adoption. It found a variety of tactics that encouraged regular use and company-wide adoption, benefiting both the organisation and the employees using the technology.
Begin with the benefits
One of the most important aspects to focus on in order to encourage positive attitudes around technology adoption is to emphasise how it works for the employee. Making your workforce aware of the key benefits is the first step towards them making video conferencing part of their day to day work life. From saving on travel time and associated costs to fostering team work and decision making, each of these benefits can make the life of your employees easier when collaborating.
Involve staff early to maximise adoption
Once your chosen video conferencing investments are in place, it’s a good idea to get some of the key employees who will be actively using the service involved right away. Whether you choose to offer formal training sessions or more informal introductions, this will make your employees more at ease with using the technology. You will need to account for their availability and workload so it helps to plan well in advance so they can allocate time for those important first interactions with the technology.
Making your employees comfortable
Despite Skype and FaceTime becoming more and more popular in everyday life, when it comes to using video conferencing in a professional setting there can be a lack of confidence amongst certain users. First impressions are therefore very important for widespread use across the company. Employees need to feel that they are ‘allowed’ to use the technology. Staff do not necessarily need extra incentives to use video, such as rewards, nor penalties for travelling to meetings instead of video meetings, but neither should the emphasis be the other way round. When possible encourage casual and frequent use of video conferencing to boost familiarity. Daily ‘water cooler’ breaks to connect to remote employees help foster a positive environment where catching up over video becomes the norm.
You may think the hard work was in the researching, evaluating, negotiating and getting the sign-off for purchasing video conferencing equipment or services, but this really is only laying the foundations. User adoption requires a co-ordinated approach company-wide. These first steps to company-wide video conferencing adoption are crucial to get right, but soon enough your employees will realise the true value that comes from the technology.